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Banner Soybean Harvest with Nowhere to Sell

Farmers are scrambling to find ways to store the soybean crop they can’t sell

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As the U.S. trade war with China rages, farmers in Minnesota and North Dakota are anticipating a strong soybean harvest, leaving them scrambling for ways to deal with excess, unsold beans. Most years, farmers sell soybeans soon — and sometimes immediately — after harvest, reports the Post Bulletin.

But a trade war means that, at least for now, China isn’t buying U.S. soybeans. And many farmers are scrambling to find ways to store the soybean crop they can’t sell.

David Kee, director of research for the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, gives this advice to farmers: Do the best you can to preserve the quality of this year’s crop until the tariff issue is resolved.

Soybeans are a higher-maintenance crop than corn, which farmers and grain elevators often pile on the ground or store in huge white plastic bags after harvest. But piling soybeans would degrade the oil in their seeds, which is a crucial part of their value.

While this year’s harvest is a concern, Kee told the Post Bulletin, the bigger issue is the long-term effect this trade turmoil will have on the market for U.S. soybeans.

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